Pathways to health equity and differential outcomes: A summary of the WHO document Equity, social determinants and public health programmes
In 2010, one of nine knowledge networks of the World Health Organization (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health published a report entitled, Equity, social determinants, and public health programmes. The report examines interventions and implementation approaches that address inequity and makes a strong plea to re-focus public health efforts toward societal-level healthy public policy.
The full WHO report includes findings from a literature review about interventions that address 12 key public health conditions, as well as 14 case studies of SDH implementation approaches in different countries. A chapter is devoted to each public health condition and includes analysis that looks upstream to investigate the condition’s causal pathway, along with
promising entry points and interventions.
The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) has summarized Equity, social determinants and public health programmes to help public health organizations and practitioners plan and deliver more nuanced interventions to advance health equity.
Using the chapter on cardiovascular disease as an exemplar, the summary illustrates how the report’s conceptual framework for understanding health inequities applies to a major Canadian health challenge. In addition, the summary synthesizes some of the key lessons learned from the research findings to identify commonalities that public health can draw upon across health conditions.
Use this resource to:
- Facilitate discussion about how exposure to risk conditions by dissimilar populations leads to varied health outcomes
- Inform development of a range of ‘intervention packages’ within individual public health programs
- Shift public health practice towards more intersectoral, development-oriented upstream approaches that complement existing service models.
National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2015). Pathways to health equity and differential outcomes: A Summary of the WHO document Equity, social determinants and public health programmes. Antigonish, NS: National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health, St. Francis Xavier University.